Charles Dickens' Victorian-era masterpiece "A Christmas Carol" was published on Dec. 19, 1843, and became an instant success in England. It tells of stingy Ebenezer Scrooge's emotional and spiritual transformation after the visitations of a number of ghosts.
The List: The many faces of Scrooge
The Washington Times
Charles Dickens' Victorian-era masterpiece "A Christmas Carol" was published on Dec. 19, 1843, and became an instant success in England. It tells of stingy Ebenezer Scrooge's emotional and spiritual transformation after the visitations of a number of ghosts. This week, the List looks at how this timeless tale has been brought to movie and television screens in numerous adaptations over the years.
- A Christmas Carol, 1908 — Essanay Studios in Chicago produced this 15-minute silent film, which starred Tom Ricketts as Ebenezer Scrooge. Ricketts is said to have directed the first motion picture ever in Hollywood, in 1909, titled "Justified."
- A Christmas Carol, 1910 — J. Searle Dawley directed this 17-minute silent film. It featured Australian-born American actor Marc McDermott as Scrooge and Charles S. Ogle as Bob Cratchit.
- Old Scrooge, 1926 — This was the rerelease of a film by Pathe made in England in 1913 starring Seymour Hicks. This print is on DVD.
- Scrooge, 1935 — This was the first sound version and feature-length film of Dickens' story. Seymour Hicks played Scrooge, a role he had played thousands of times onstage. Most of the ghosts, including that of Jacob Marley, are not actually shown on-screen, although their voices are heard.
- A Christmas Carol, 1938 — Made by MGM, this was America's first film adaptation of the story. Lionel Barrymore, who played Scrooge annually on radio, was forced to drop out of the film because of arthritis. Reginald Owen took on the role of Scrooge, and the husband-and-wife team of Gene and Kathleen Lockhart played the Cratchits. It opened in December 1938 at New York City's Radio City Music Hall, where it did moderately well. In England, it failed dismally at the box office.
- Scrooge, 1951 — Probably the best interpretation ever of the Dickens' story. It was released as "A Christmas Carol" in the U.S. It starred Alastair Sim as Ebenezer Scrooge. Of all his 60 films, this is probably Scottish actor's most celebrated performance. It received marvelous acclaim in Great Britain but had mixed reviews in the U.S. and was a box-office disappointment.